Outdated Narrow Living Room need furniture placement
mstlh
March 19, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I will be updating this space. As you can see a new design is well over due. It's a long narrow living room. Any ideas with furniture placement. All the old furniture and draperies must go!
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decoenthusiaste
Do I see a mirrored wall on the left of the first pic? Assume that is a dining area, or is this actually an "L" shaped living room? Is the entry to the left of the stairs? Are you planning anything changes for the flooring? To start getting a feel for where to go with this, why not remove the valances and use the panels alone. That would be an instant update to enjoy while you work your way through planning the re-desig/makeover.
0 Likes   March 20, 2013 at 1:04PM
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mstlh
@decoenthusiaste it's actually just a L shaped booked that housed a piano
0 Likes   March 20, 2013 at 2:36PM
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decoenthusiaste
Not sure I understand your answer. ...a L shaped booked...
Do you still have a piano?
0 Likes   March 20, 2013 at 2:58PM
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mstlh
I'm soo sorry! I meant an L shaped nook just big enough for a piano. No the previous owner sold the piano. The archway leads to the front door of the house. I attached a picture.
0 Likes   March 20, 2013 at 9:50PM
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mveasey
Since this living room is technically a " through-way" , you need to put furniture accordingly, so that there is enough space to walk comfortably.
What is your preferred style of furniture?What do you picture in your head?
I do like your black dresser, quite a statement and an interesting hanging lamp by your sectional?
Will you be doing any painting? I assume the carpet is staying? Negating the valances and drapes will be a huge step. Perhaps updating or painting the staircase balusters might be an idea, since it is a bit of a focal point on the room. Definitely add some large artwork in the corner between the two windows, that wall looks a little neglected, not having anything on it. Stay away from little rugs, since they break up a space into little stations, rather then read as a whole living room.
The mirrored nook could become a library nook with bookshelves to the ceiling, a comfy reading chair and a beautiful floorlamp. Unless you need more space for foyer items, like shoe and coat storage, you said the entry is right there...then I might do an armoire.I will try to find some photos for you as well.
1 Like   March 20, 2013 at 11:27PM
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mveasey
Sorry pretty late here, could not find any photos I liked, but an article from House&Home. Hope that helps a little.
Other questions would be if you will have need for a desk or a TV setup in your space.Not sure if you read much, since I suggested a library nook, but was just an idea that came to mind...
Have a good night!
0 Likes   March 20, 2013 at 11:42PM
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mveasey
Here the article...
0 Likes   March 20, 2013 at 11:43PM
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mveasey
Last photo here...
0 Likes   March 20, 2013 at 11:44PM
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mstlh
@mveasey than you for your recommendations. I'm more of a transitional or modern type of person. My plan is to remove all the carpet and stain the wood floors a dark color. I would like to stain the stairs the same color as the floors with white risers. The walls would be repainted a light grey. It have purchased a painting to put on the wall already. I've attached the picture. I thought it was calming. I'm doing a total overhaul of the space (entire house really). I plan on removing that hutch and the Asian like credenza and sectional. im going to get can lighting installed in the ceilings so the light near the sectional wont be staying. In the entryway there is already a coat closet. I would need to redo that area as well as the previous owner had a ton of old items and knick knacks. Basically everything in this picture is going or will be going.
0 Likes   March 20, 2013 at 11:54PM
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mstlh
@mveasey Thank you for the article! I will definitely read it. To answer your question I will not be placing a tv in this area. I'm going to designate the basement as a family area for that. Also I plan on using the sun porch for reading. Thanks for the tips!!
0 Likes   March 20, 2013 at 11:59PM
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libradesigneye
The photos don't read properly to match up - perhaps a second brown chair snuck in to left of sectional for third pic, but I think I get the room. I'm seeing the short part of the L where you walk in with the mirrored end element (demo ASAP) and a few steps in and you are on the Long Narrow room axis, made to feel longer by this furniture placement and the lovely focal stairway with natural light from above.

Lots of these furniture elements you could keep - the sideboard is top quality and great elements for a traditional room.

Getting natural light flowing into this space will help a lot. Take out all the drapery ASAP. You are going to want roman shades that sit above your windows and only drop at night. The windows are modern and the natural light will help the room seem bigger.

Nothing major should be placed along the walls in these rooms because it makes it worse unless it is strategically placed. Main seating area goes at foot of stair near that window set.

A pair of apartment sized loveseats facing each other with their ends nearly against the main window wall (that now shows the asian sideboard underneath.) Something like http://www.ballarddesigns.com/sablon-tufted-loveseat/sofas-loveseats/stand-alone-sofas/196052?defattrib=&defattribvalue=&listIndex=4 At 5' 5" wide, your room just started to look bigger.

The far loveseat will be as far back as it can go in the room but not block the stair. The one nearest should form symmetry with the window trio with the placement of the first sofa - get a large square ottoman with a tray instead of a coffee table here. Search out small wood armchairs w/ upholstery to use as a pair together on opposite wall in center to finish the "square." Walking path is in front of chairs, beside loveseats. Rug under loveseats and ottoman, not across path.

Or my favorite, because the open arms mean more seating total and a more elegant feminine feel - http://www.ballarddesigns.com/manchester-apartment-sofa/sofas-loveseats/manchester/11974?defattrib=&defattribvalue=&listIndex=1
at 6'7" you might have to relegate the closing of the square to be a narrow console with ottomans underneath but if you have 11' wide, don't go narrower than 6' on the pair. I'm guessing based on all the factors here - you can fill in more info.

If the asian sideboard is yours,keep this gorgeous piece and put it behind the nearest loveseat facing you as you enter the room a sofa table or console. It's length alone might make me go for a wider sofa! Put tall lamps to form a visual divider between this area and the entry space you come to first. Cheat the first sofa back slightly so symmetry with window isn't exact, but isn't apparent.

Now for the first area -

If that is your tall china cabinet or armoire, or you can buy a tall cabinet with glass above that you like, paint it french linen with annie sloan chalk paint, a great gray to go with your walls. Put it on the wall opposite the entry. Center it between the front of the sideboard as sofa table and the front window wall. I'll come back to this area -

Closer to the center of the front wall / front end of the front window, place a pair of chairs. Turn these two chairs facing each other, perpendicular to this front wall - use the big open square end table I saw around the corner between them like a coffee table. Use reading lamps / floor lamps behind/ beside each chair. You could put a chess table or backgammon out here.

Measure the space on each side of the archway of the common wall with entry. Purchase two console tables or chests that will center on each side of entry / fit those spaces, and hang coordinated large square canvas art above them. On the mirror wall, take the mirror out and . . do nothing. Around the corner, across from the tall chest before you enter the seating square, on the inside wall of the longer part of the L - add your tall piece of fantastic art and nothing else there on the wall.

In front of the china cabinet in the big corner square that feels open and empty, place a 36" round pedestal dining table as library table, stacked with books, and one or two precious photos, one gorgeous little statue. Fill the china cabinet with books behind the glass doors / maybe a few memento / art elements / tea service and tray. Treat it like a secretary, but keep some table linens in the drawers and dishes below. For a valentines meal, you can set up dinner here, or have tea here anytime. Add two straight upholstered dining chairs here, tucked at 10 and 2 on the china cabinet side. If you can find elegant straight chairs with casters, maybe parsons chairs, this is a great place for caster chairs. When you have a party, you put the books away and put the food here, and the caster chairs will roll around to line the walls to form larger seating groupings.

By placing furniture on the "end walls" that are the "short dimension", you "square up" the room area in perception. Use the chairs in pairs like loveseats and try some of this out. Don't replace your big wooden pieces until you consider a makeover for the tall cabinet (paint the inside red, and the outside the french linen gray). Develop a color scheme - paint the walls a mid-tone gray color - neither dark nor light, will give it cozyness.

Layer all the fabrics back to a common color story. Start with an inspiration fabric for drapery, and then build on that for upholstery, pillows, chairs, and so forth.

When complete, you have three groupings - two seating areas with one being the main attraction and one being a place for a private conversation. Library area in center of all where you can hang a sparkly mini chandelier overhead on a dimmer, and sit here to do crosswords or pay bills, or organize your papers before you go out or when you come in.
0 Likes   March 21, 2013 at 12:46AM
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mveasey
Your dilemma kept me up at night! Libra got it right, that's what I would have suggested...
I see you have an Ikea print. If you love their products (I do!), you can make the space very modern and comfortable. Love your earlier/ late night suggestions on paint colour, floor ideas, etc. you are on the right track!
0 Likes   March 21, 2013 at 9:11AM
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mstlh
@libradesigneye..this room has been such a challenge for me. You just made this entire deign process make sense. Thank you so much for the detailed recommendations. I actually printed this out and will start measuring my room and look for furniture. I love Ballard design and tufting upholstery is the angle I wanted to take. So far I have only looked at wall color ( light gray) and hardwood (dark) floors. Most of the furniture in he picture I was able to sell or donate. My mom wants to keep the china cabinet and Asian like credenza so she will be pleased to read your comments on incorporating the two. Although my thoughts were to use it in the French country kitchen design or the wet bar design. I will definitely keep you and @mveasey posted. So far this I my plan for the stairs since they are a focal point. Thanks again you two I appreciate this!
0 Likes   March 22, 2013 at 12:03AM
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libradesigneye
Wonderful inspiration for that beautiful stair! The silvery dove grays and cream against the black rail and balluster (or deep gel stain for you), contrasting tread and riser will be gorgeous and dark floors will be beautiful here. If your budget allows, of course use the china cabinet elsewhere, perhaps substitute a proper secretary - here's the inspiration w/ books for behind the pedestal table [houzz=
] http://www.potterybarn.com/products/graham-bar-hutch/?cm_src=AutoSchRel

If you don't follow YoungHouseLove.com, they are one of my favorites for spelling out clearly steps on how to get from inspiration to wow. One of SherriP's observations was passing on that Sarah Richardson often incorporated 10 - 14 fabrics in a room. Layering prints and colors all in the same family (here your inspiration shows cream to camel, dove gray to charcoal) is key to the elegance of a modern look that has the elegance of french style. Their current house has an inspiration "napkin" print from Crate and Barrel, check out their process and place. I mention this because Ballard has that great feature where you can check on all the neutral and gray fabrics and see a host of fabrics that could be layered together. Or they will build a sofa with your fabric. It is easier to select paint to go with fabrics than the other way around :)

Finally, the high sided chesterfield-echo sofa tufting and sides makes for "more look" and somewhat less comfortable seating due to the high arms. Where that look becomes cozy and enveloping and actually comfortable is in a big square modern club chair - and in the entry area of your room where we detailed a two chair plan, a bigger scale chair will work best to dominate the are and yet allow the space to feel open. You may be able to have your "tufting" and like it too over there. See http://www.roomandboard.com/rnb/product/detail.do?productGroup=22293&catalog=filter&menuCatalog=room&menuCategory=&menuSubcategory=201206 for a modern version or google chesterfield club chairs and you'll get several options. Your space over there can take a big chair - in fact, you will want something large scale to feel substantial but no more than 40" I'd say.
0 Likes   March 22, 2013 at 6:19AM
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